Mind Your Manners!

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‘What do you say?’

This was mum’s standard response whenever she gave me anything. Things were withheld from me until I said the ‘magic words’.

It was the early seventies and manners still mattered then.

Sadly, times have changed.

In the beginning they were just words, much like reciting the Lord’s Prayer at school. I said them without thinking but as I got older I began to understand the importance of the words that society required me to say.

Good manners are a code of conduct based on courtesy. When we are saying ‘Thank You’ we are showing our gratitude and respect.

People don’t have to do things for us. It is not our right to receive. However, today’s society seems think that it is their right to receive. As my wonderful MIL used to say,

Those buggers come from Havington, instead of Givington!

When I think of all the things that people have done for me over the years, ‘Thank you’ seems an inadequate response.

Note, I say what people have done for me as opposed to what people have bought me. Of course I am thankful when I am given a gift but it’s never the gift itself that I am thankful for, it’s the fact that the person has thought about me. Most precious of all is the time that people have given me because that is the best gift of all and it’s free, as are manners.

Saying thank you is a sign of respect. It shows the giver that what they have done is valued. If the receiver simply takes without acknowledging it, the giver feels that their gift (or deed) is meaningless and makes for unpleasantness.

I have watched a society change to one where manners don’t matter. I see rudeness and ignorance everyday. Examples such as when I stood aside to allow a young mother through with her pram and she walked past me without acknowledgement of any kind.

On one occasion, I said ‘You’re welcome!’ as one young mother walked past me.

This was her response..

Fuck off!

Charming, eh?

A wise young lady made the point that sometimes people might be rude because they are having a bad day and it is a good point and worth bearing in mind but usually it’s just a case of bad manners because that’s all the person knows. This is the sad reality.

I have given up my seat on buses for the elderly and pregnant. I open the door for people, regardless of gender or age. I am a courteous driver. I mute my phone in cafes. These are small actions but I have been the pregnant lady on the bus and I have been the driver stuck at a junction at the mercy of someone letting me out and I know the difference that these small courtesies can make to somebody’s day. Mobile phones? Don’t start me! That’s a whole blog post all to itself!

It seems to me that in today’s society there is a distinct manners, etiquette, politeness and courtesy malfunction!

Inconsiderate Drivers

Living opposite a school reveals ignorance and inconsideration on a daily basis by parents who drive their children to school. They selfishly (and illegally) park on the pavement so that pedestrians have to walk into the road to get past. Seemingly protecting a wing mirror takes precedence over a human’s life.

They park on the yellow zig-zag lines despite the big yellow sign that tells them not to and they have little consideration for the residents who live around the school. Unbelievably (or not) one parent actually parked in my neighbours driveway one morning but unfortunately for her – my neighbour came back. Oops!

The way I see it is that it’s only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt either by being knocked over by a car or knocked out by an angry resident.

Steampunk

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The younger generation seem to be too busy interacting with their mobile phones to be courteous but there is a minority movement known as Steampunk who’s core values thankfully include good manners.

At face-value, steampunk is about fashion but it’s it’s much deeper than that – it’s a way of life.

Coined by author Kevin Jeter as a way of distinguishing him and fellow sci-fi writers from the futuristic ‘cyberpunks’, steampunk mixes the technology of today with the aesthetics of the Victorian era. Undoubtedly there are many dark aspects of the Victorian era that need to remain there but good manners were an important part of that society and the steampunk movement, albeit in a small and eccentric way, is trying to bring it back. Thank God for eccentrics, I say!

My Theory

I have a theory that behind every rude child/teenager there is a parent who failed to teach them any manners.

I was taught to be courteous and in turn taught my children to be the same – even S who has social communication problems.

I’m tired of living in a society that doesn’t show respect for one another. How do we correct this though? Sarcasm either goes over people’s heads or incites an angry response like Lady Eff Off’s.

Why do we have this problem?

Studies show that the problem is mainly with 18 – 34 year old’s. Over 55’s generally exhibit better manners most likely because that they are of a generation where manners were important.

Today’s youths are generally narcissistic and self-centered. They are the me, me, me generation who couldn’t give a ferret’s fart about people who they don’t identify with. We have progressed so far with technology over the last few decades but the price is that our society has changed for the worse.

In our home, dinnertime is where we sit down as a family and ALL technology is banned and I hope that my children will carry on this tradition because one of the things that I loved about my childhood is that I had my parents full attention at the dinner table. We talked about our day and it mattered to me. The memory of their parents giving social media attention instead of them is not one I want for my future grandchildren.

I refuse to be ill mannered and though ignorance can make life unpleasant, I will continue to fly the flag for good manners and hope that it inspires others to be more polite and considerate.

Thank you for reading.

β€œRespect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners” ~ Laurence Stern

 

Image Credit by woodlywonderworks Via Creative Commons

Steampunk Image Credit Zyllan Fotografia Via Creative Commons

 

mumturnedmom

 

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26 thoughts on “Mind Your Manners!

  1. Oh T how I agree with all your post!! Many a time I’ve muttered ‘you’re welcome’ when someone doesn’t thank me for letting them pass/holding the door open/ letting them cross the road and I usually just get the ‘evils’!! And on the subject of good manners I didn’t reply to your text yesterday. My bad πŸ˜” I will rectify that shortly. Big hugs lovely and keep up the great work. I love your blogs xxxx

  2. I’m with you 100% Manners DO make a difference! Saying thank you is far more than just a word – it also says ‘I’ve noticed you and what you’ve just done and I appreciate it’. Good manners brighten my day! xx

  3. I’d have to agree with your theory my lovely. Children learn by example, and if their parents are being rude and ignorant, most of the time they will too. Another fab thought provoking post xx

  4. Oh yes – poor manners seem to be so prevalent these days, good manners really stand out, which is pretty sad. I was brought up to mind Ps and Qs – and I’ve always found hood manners to be a really attractive attribute. Thought provoking post xx ThePrompt

  5. Inconsiderate drivers wind me up no end, especially tailgaters that intimidate drivers out of the way to get ahead by about 300 yards. Whyyyy do people do it? And saying please and thank you costs nothing at all, why some people think it’s beneath them to say those words is bizarre.

  6. I’m totally with you here Tracy, creed, colour, age, social standing, religion, well just totally anybody, if you’ve got a mouth in your head apart from people with the most dibiltating disabilities, manners should be used and they cost absolutely nothing. They start at home from the time a baby is babbling, you start them by saying “ta” and from there on in, you prompt and correct your child as a matter of course. I’m forever saying thank you, out loud to people who should be saying it to me, usually with no response. Everybody can and does have blank moments when their mind is wondering or maybe worrying about something much more significant and we all have to respect that BUT in the most, it’s just bloody bad manners. Years ago, I was holding the hand of one of my children, me on the outside of the pavement, that’s another thing that seems to have been lost, walking in the shops. I was aware of a woman, can’t call her a lady, in today’s vocabulary, tail-gating our footsteps, in the end, I stepped us both into the side and she just pushed past, walked ahead and said nothing. I couldn’t help myself, I said “oh dear! that lady must be much more important than us” she turned round! gave me and my child the evils and expressed in not very lady like words were that she was in a hurry! my thought…..you prize b*tch!!!
    I have to disagree about elderly having good manners, many a time when I was trying to teach the children to be brave and queue on there own to pay for something, standing back, only to see them huffing and pushing their paper etc in front of the nervous child. If I see that today, I can’t help but say excuse me but I think you will find this little one was first.
    Doing something kind, being polite and getting a smile in return is such a feel good factor. There are decent people around who think that they haven’t done much but to others it is huge. After a 4 hour flight in November, I wasn’t very well in Gatwick airport and was desperate for water. I was in a airport shop, fumbling around in my purse and was 10pence short, I called over to Laura, to bring me 10p, when a shopper, not even in the queue, came over and just put the 19p in my hand, I can’t express how thankful I was, I kept thanking her and she just said think nothing of it, I drank that water like I was lost in the desert.
    This blog could lead on to so much more Tracy, don’t even start me on people coming out of the toilet cubicles, walking out without washing their hands! dropping litter, not picking up dog poo, spitting on the pavement……I could go on and on. All of these have one thing in common, not being taught. Well, after writing this I’m in bad mood for Sunday, all I need from you is *thank you Sheerie* and the smile will return to my face. Love you to the moon and back Tracy! 😘xxx

    • Thank you lovely, well at least I know I’m not alone in this. πŸ™‚
      Good to hear about the lady who gave you that money. What a lovely act of kindness. We need more of that instead of people walking on by don’t we?
      The elderly? I agree. I only said that I was taught to respect them lol but some think they deserve respect even if they are ignorant.
      I’m sorry my post put you in a bad mood. Oops. :/ But THANK YOU so much for reading and commenting. πŸ˜‰ Lufs you! xxxxxxx

  7. Amen to this! I know when someone tells me how polite and well mannered my kids are its always been something I feel I’ve got right in their education. My Mum used to say “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all” and I’d rather try and say nothing than be mean…not always easy! Manners cost nothing, but mean so much.

  8. Love this πŸ™‚ I had no idea about Steampunk, I thought it was just a fashion fad so I want to find out more now. Thank you for sharing that…manners cost nothing, we should be throwing them around like confetti if we can’t throw kindness! πŸ™‚ x

  9. This is so true about manners costing nothing. I have drilled good manners into all mine, and Small Boy is struggling atm with apparent rudeness, which I think is part of his autism. However, I’ve told him he can be the most autistic child in Scotland but he won’t be the rudest! Even if it takes me ten years he will learn to be polite, even – or more to the point – especially when he least wants to be. Then I will know I’ve turned ’em out all OK (ish)

  10. I think my kids would say I sound like your Mum, manners are important and even if my kids are just saying the words robot style I still want them to say them, hopefully one day they will really mean it too! #ThePrompt

    • Thank you. It was always my hope that understanding would come in later years and it obviously has with my eldest children. It’s a good feeling to know that my persistence paid off. πŸ™‚

  11. I think manners are so important, and as you rightly say, thank you is about more than just thanking for a ‘thing’, it’s about recognising thoughts and actions, which is so important. It’s kind, it’s respectful and it shows that we don’t take things for granted. Great post, thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

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